Recently I was talking with two artist friends in Brazil about a current project to develop an animated video from my lecture, “The Transcendence of Sexuality.” (See the video The Grand Design: Rediscovering Male and Female as Imago Dei, part of our Coram Deo online course.)
During our conversation, one of these artists had an aha moment. I’ll return to that narrative, but first the backdrop.
Our modern/postmodern culture acknowledges only half the universe; our concepts and language are formed by an atheistic or naturalistic framework. This construct recognizes nothing beyond the physical dimension. Transcendence does not exist. Sex is merely physical, simply male and female anatomy and function. In fact, postmodernism denies even that distinction. Male and female have disappeared in the alphabet soup of LGBTQ+ etc., multiple definitions of sexuality all of which are products of human imagination.
The Judeo-Christian framework sees the universe as an integrated whole, a reality both natural and transcendent. Sometimes the two touch: we find in the natural realm patterns for things in the transcendent realm. An example is sexuality. The physical nature of male and female is grounded in the transcendent reality of masculine and feminine. In other words, there is a transcendent feminine design behind the female body, and a transcendent masculine design behind the male body.
Evolutionism states we are here by some cosmic accident, without purpose. But the Bible reveals that we are male and female by God’s design, for a specific purpose. This is stated clearly in Genesis 1:26-28.
Design is obvious to everyone
Of course naturalists are disinclined to take the Bible’s word for it, but they can simply look at the glory, wonder and beauty of the human body to see this truth. It is obvious that female and male bodies are beautifully and wonderfully different. And one may see in the design of those bodies the reflection of the transcendent complementary nature of male and female. Why is this? Because they are designed by the Creator for a purpose.
The great French biologist, 1965 Nobel Prize winner for Medicine, and Director of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, Jacques Monod, made an astounding observation: “one of the fundamental characteristics common to all living beings without exception [is] that of being objects endowed with a purpose or project, which at the same time they exhibit in their structure and carry out in their performance.”
Note what Monod is saying:
- Science has observed fundamental characteristics common to all living beings without exception.
- All living beings, without exception, are objects endowed with a purpose or project. That is, all living things have a purpose or mission for which they were designed. They do not manifest purposelessness as we are taught in school via Darwinism and evolutionism.
- This is exhibited in their structure and carried out through their performance.
How do we know we have a purpose? Special revelation–the Bible–affirms this truth. But so does general revelation. Our bodies, in their structure and function, clearly demonstrate what they were made for. We can see their design.
This concept of design is a problem for Jacques Monod, and all atheistic scientists and observers who have been schooled in the halls of Darwin, because atheism assumes no God, no transcendent reality. There is only nature!
An “appearance” of design
Modern naturalists deny God and thus have no basis for the transcendent design and purpose of the masculine and feminine they observe. Monod admits, “Objectivity nevertheless obliges us to recognize the teleonomic character of living organisms, to admit that in their structure and performance they act projectively — realize and pursue a purpose. Here therefore, at least in appearance, lies a profound epistemological contradiction.”
Monod is saying that modern science begins with the concept of objectivity (that is, impartiality or neutrality) not subjectivity or bias. An objective inquiry finds that all living organisms have a teleonomic nature. The word teleonomic is derived from the root telo which means to “set out for a definite point or goal.” In other words, all living organisms act projectively, realize and pursue a purpose.
What are the implications of this objective, scientific finding? Human beings were created for a purpose, and that purpose is revealed in our structure and performance. Furthermore, design implies a Designer. Any truly objective scientist would bow the knee before the Designer.
But this is a problem for atheistic scientists who deny design. Scientists who profess atheism simply abandon the pursuit of truth and embrace subjective assumptions.
Monod is actually honest enough to acknowledge this: “Here therefore, at least in appearance, lies a profound epistemological contradiction.” Yes, a contradiction between their assumptions and the evidence. But instead of following the evidence, and acknowledging the Creator, they build an imaginary escape hatch by pretending this is only an apparent contradiction. In the meantime, they keep looking for a way to explain how design can happen without a Designer. In the classrooms where these scientists teach, there is a word for such an approach: cheating!
When the truth is inconvenient, make up your own
To handle this profound epistemological contradiction, modern biologists perform a sleight of hand. They insist that living organisms only appear to exhibit purposefulness, an appearance they attribute to blind evolutionary adaptation. In 1958, British-born biologist Colin Pittendrigh coined the term teleonomy. Wikipedia defines the term as “the quality of apparent [emphasis mine] purposefulness and of goal-directedness of structures and functions in living organisms brought about by natural processes like natural selection.”
They then seek to replace the older concept born out of a Judeo-Christian worldview known as teleology: “‘study of final causes,’ 1740, from Modern Latin teleologia, coined 1728 by German philosopher Baron Christian von Wolff (1679-1754) from Greek teleos ‘entire, perfect, complete,’ genitive of telos ‘end, goal, result.’”
They have changed the language because they abandoned Judeo-Christian Theism, which frames the concept of teleology as the doctrine of design and purpose, for teleonomy, an atheistic concept which denies God’s existence, and with Him, denies design and purpose. There is no Designer, so there can be no design, only the appearance of design and purpose.
So much for objectivity! We have moved from objective science to evolutionary ideology, and have lost sight of truth as well as beauty and the glory of God from which truth, the good and beauty emanate. In abandoning objectivity for ideology, modern science has helped pave the way for the rise of “postmodern science,” as if there could be such a thing, that d enies transcendent purpose, science, biology and reality altogether to pursue the delusion of gender identity.
So much for objectivity! We have moved from objective science to evolutionary ideology, and have lost sight of truth as well as beauty and the glory of God from which truth, the good and beauty emanate. In abandoning objectivity for ideology, modern science has helped pave the way for the rise of “postmodern science,” as if there could be such a thing, that denies transcendent purpose, science, biology and reality altogether to pursue the delusion of gender identity.
The aha moment
This was the backdrop of my Brazilian colleague’s aha moment as we discussed my lecture, The Transcendence of Sexuality, in which I suggested that the glow and beauty of an expectant mother is cause for wonder, for reflecting on God’s design of Eve as the “life giver.” Not only are male and female bodies beautifully and wonderfully made, the transcendent masculine and feminine pattern is profound and stunning.
Male and female are God’s idea. Human sexuality stems from the transcendent architectural design to reflect purpose; it is built into our biological and physiological makeup as female and male so that in their structure and performance they fulfill their design and pursue their purpose.
The beautiful glorifies the good and illuminates the truth.
- Darrow Miller